Following its split with Yamaha, MotoGP privateer Tech 3 will be partnering with KTM starting 2019 with the Austrian outfit set to provide full factory support to the satellite team.
MotoGP privateer Tech 3 recently announced its split from Yamaha after an association of nearly 20 years, opening room for a host of speculations. However, the satellite team has now brought an end to all rumours and has announced that it will be partnering with KTM from 2019. Having made its premier class debut only last season, the Austrian factory team will provide full support to Tech 3 with the two RC16 bikes next year. KTM completed the 2017 season with seven top ten finishes and the association with Tech 3 is certain to be beneficial for the factory team. There will be up to four RC16s on the grid from 2019.
“We are very happy to join forces with Tech 3 in MotoGP from 2019,” says Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director. “The team has many years of experience and achieved a lot of great results in this championship. Their professional structure will make us even stronger. Having four KTM RC16 on the grid is also another big step for us, both for the development of our MotoGP bike and expanding KTM’s structure in the paddock. We are looking forward to start a great cooperation and I’m thankful towards Herve Poncharal for the future trust in KTM.”
While the move certainly is a big step for KTM, it certainly wasn’t easy for Tech 3 either. While the partnership with Yamaha was a strong one, the French team hoped for more support from the factory team for its riders. With Johann Zarco’s fantastic performance in 2017, the team hoped to get the 2018 Yamaha M1 but instead will be resorting to the 2016 M1, while the factory riders use 2016 based newly developed version.
The move should also provide a boost to KTM’s Moto2 team riders, as it opens room for more riders to be accommodated in the premier class championship. That said, KTM and Tech 3 are yet to confirm on rider plans for 2019 onward.
Currently, Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin will be representing team Tech 3 Yamaha in its final season. Syahrin replaces Jonas Folger for the 2018 season after the latter took a sabbatical from racing due to health reasons. Speculations also suggest that Zarco is being considered by KTM’s factory team for 2019, which will be a big step up for the rider having finished fifth overall last season.